(Left to Right: Mike Love, Sam Ites)
They don’t call it Stella for nothin’. This South side restaurant is nothing short of stellar — of note, their lineup is top-notch; and September 17 and 18 with Paula Fuga and Mike Love, featuring James “Hutch” Hutchinson (on bass, of Bonnie Raitt fame) and Sam Ites (percussion), was no exception the example. Under Stella Blues warm, vaulted wood ceilings — with patrons’ palates tempered by four-course cuisine and gin & tonic (well, for me anyway) — this ensemble took to the Supper Club stage for an anticipated follow-up to their raved-about July show. What better way to kick off the Fall season?
Love, accompanied by Ites, opened with three songs that early-on drew waterworks and impassioned hoots from the crowd; with his full-body musicianship including all manner of looping and layering with an army of pedals positioned at his toes (and a pair of Crocs neatly tucked behind him). Fuga then took to the stage, handing out set lists on purple note paper (Scott Johnson of Dogtowne Design helped score one for me. See the photo below… So cool. #scrapbookdork), adding her sweet as suga soul to Hutchinson’s bass beats. Fuga, Love and Ites “are all in another band called Dubkonscious,” Fuga explained before they performed a new track (the title of which gin & tonic has, sadly, obscured in my memory).
It was the kind of night full of cheers and tears in ways outside where words or photos can worthily convey. The kind of good vibe night where I couldn’t help but find myself thinking of those I love who would’ve loved — and I would have loved to share — the experience with; in the way you want your very best moments to be with your whole family from Mom to pet fish [though, I did have the best company: Scott Johnson and his wife Marla, and Trisha Smith from Maui Weekly and her two boyfriends (show off)… Another neat note being that it’s been exactly a year since Marla’s benefit at Mulligans with — guess who — Paula Fuga and Mike Love (!) AND the Johnsons are on the eve of organizing #ZEPTEMBER, which they and everyone involved have generously decided to dedicate as a benefit to my leukemia bills. #craziestcoolestthingever?).
Because oh, the talent! Oh, the spirit! It was a night I’ll forever regard among the ranks of my holiest promenades through the realm of mastercraft sound. Like Elvis Costello in the rain and rolling blackouts, rolled into an artisan after dinner bun baked in Zion. Like Ween the week before the historic Reno Hilton was gutted for a timeshare, if the after party rumor was real. Yeah. I went there. It was that good.
So, I can only say that next time Paula Fuga and Mike Love roll into town, do yourself — and those you love — a favor by getting tickets early and treating yourself to a night for your own scrapbooks…
(Thanks again, Scott! Set List: “No Place Like Home,” “For the Love of You,” “Lovers Rock,” “Saving My Love,” “Lilikoi,” “Country Road,” “The Sun Will Rise,” “Sweetness,” “Beautiful Face,” “Queen,” “Tangled,” “Parachute,” “Misery’s End.”)
(Left to Right: Paula Fuga, Mike Love, Hutch Hutchinson)
(Left to Right: Mike Love, Trisha Smith, Sam Ites)
Owner Kale Boverman introduced the show with lots of love to the media peeps in the audience including Trisha Smith (pictured above) of Maui Weekly, John Woodhouse of The Maui News (see his Scene cover story here), and Scott Johnson of Dogtowne Design — plus the always-fashionable Erin Smith, fresh off a hip evening gig.
OK. I know this is beyond-ridiculous rationalization, but now that Paris Hilton has been spotted on People.com reading MauiTime (thanks, Daisy on Facebook!) — in September, no less — I think it’s fair game to talk a little fashion. Because like it or not, Paris has handcuffed herself to the last decade. But, whoa. Back to that “beyond-ridiculous” part and strike the rest of the sentence. When the limbo gods ask you, “How low can you go?” it should follow up with “Not that you should.” And I should not have gone that low.
But, I shouldn’t be embarrassed about blog-complimenting famous Mauians about their stylish coordinates, either! Fashion is fun, and Erin Smith does a great job at being the one and only Erin Smith (photographic evidence at the close of this post). Major kudos for having both the eye and the guts to pair a cotton candy pink dupioni skirt, with a slashed tee-to-tank top with a silk-screened shark boasting coral colored gums. #toocool And like the second rule in Zombieland, “double tap.” Smith dropped off her gear and returned in a second set of swanky threads. #seriouslythistimeimeanittoocool (Maybe too, I’m eager to check out what all Super Fantastic hot pink glitter fuss is all about…)
Also, had to snag the shot of Smith with Love — both wearing the same shade of emerald — a friendly reuniting after their interview the day before. And if I’m gonna bus’ it out and talk clothes, why not mention that Love’s tee had particular style with a neatly drawn hala tree! Exactly the kind of attire that makes me rejoice in its Pacific inspiration.
Whew. That was like girlie Tourettes.
UPDATE 10/08/10: Added another great photo — one I found from Jen Russo — of an early Fuga and Love show. And, a photo of (from the most recent Stella show) of the lovely Erin Smith (center), Marla Johnson (right) and their friend (left) — who I don’t know their name because of bad reporting gin & tonic.
Why such a belated update? This iPhone lover (belatedly) discovered iPhoto. Didn’t work on my other comp, but now photos too dark to see when sending via e-mail/Posterous, magically appear!
Sent from my iPhone